After Irma Free Fire Zone

Your Curmudgeon has fully recovered from hurricane Irma, which struck last weekend. The shutters are down and put away, the lawn debris — loads of it — has been removed, stores are open, and things are back to normal.

Well, almost normal. Although power was restored a day after the storm hit, we still don’t have cable TV service. Comcast keeps giving us dates and times when service will be restored, but they’re always wrong and it appears that they don’t have a clue. [Addendum: That was the situation on 17 Sept. Cable service was restored around noon the next day, the 18th, so we were without TV for a week after Irma.]

There hasn’t been much creationism news recently, but we did find a couple of off-topic items that you may find amusing:

1: CBC News in Toronto reports: Toronto man ‘angry’ after learning his $8,100 master’s degree that required no exams or academic work is fake. They say:

Erwin Sniedzins doesn’t trust traditional universities. So when the Toronto business management consultant found one offering a master’s degree requiring no studying, exams, or academic work — for just $8,100 — Sniedzins thought it was a school sharing his unconventional approach to education.


He said the degree issued by Kings Lake University, which he found by searching the internet, is based on his previous life experience and professional accomplishments.


After his experience was “validated” by the university, Sniedzins said he paid the $8,100 fee, and received a master’s degree in education, specializing in technology in education. The university mailed him the degree and several other signed, stamped and apparently certified documents. He said he even received a graduation cap and gown.


Any doubts Sniedzins may have had were also eased by what appears to be a sworn affidavit, included in his package of documents, supposedly signed by former U.S. secretary of state John Kerry.

Tough luck. He should have taken advantage of what your Curmudgeon offers — see Earn a Degree in Creationism Today!

2: The Washington Post has this headline: The world as we know it is about to end — again — if you believe this biblical doomsday claim. Here’s a bit of it:

A few years ago, NASA senior space scientist David Morrison debunked an apocalyptic claim as a hoax. No, there’s no such thing as a planet called Nibiru, he said. No, it’s not a brown dwarf surrounded by planets, as iterations of the theory suggest. No, it’s not on a collision course toward Earth. And yes, people should “get over it.”

But the theory has been getting renewed attention recently. Added to it is the precise date of the astronomical event leading to Earth’s destruction. And that, according to David Meade, is in six days — Sept. 23, 2017.

You can click over there and read the whole thing, if you like.

That’s all we could find, so we’re declaring another Intellectual Free-Fire Zone. We’re open for the discussion of pretty much anything — science, politics, economics, whatever — as long as it’s tasteful and interesting. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But avoid flame-wars and beware of the profanity filters.

We now throw open the comments to you, dear reader. Have at it.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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27 responses to “After Irma Free Fire Zone

  1. Anyone who’d spend more than eight thousand dollars to get a “degree” without doing any academic work or taking any tests isn’t someone I’d want managing my business.

    Maybe he can find work at the Discovery Institute. It seems they’re used to people coming in with no serious qualifications and pretending to be experts.

  2. I’ve been trying to stir up some excitement about Kent Hovind’s scheduled appearances in Boise City, OK, including an extended Saturday performance at the high school.

    Today the church preacher responded with a post on the church’s FaceBook page, to which I responded.

    It will be interesting to see how that develops.

    For details about that, with links for additional information, see the following:

    There’s also this article based on a recent encounter with Kent’s handler Ernie Land and what is up with Kent’s man Brady Byrum:


  3. Robert Baty says: “I’ve been trying to stir up some excitement about Kent Hovind’s scheduled appearances in Boise City, OK …”

    It’s difficult to get excited about Hovind these days, but please keep us advised.

  4. I’ll put you on the list and try to keep you advised of any substantive developments and/or how the event came off.

  5. I think it’s interesting that Hovind is going to “perform”. Is that what he did when he “proved” intelligent design with a hybrid banana?

  6. “…the degree … is based on his previous life experience and professional accomplishments.”

    Wow. The levels of irony here are *amazing*.

  7. “Perform” is a term I have adopted to characterize Kent’s appearances in public such as at events and on YouTube.

    I think “perform” is most appropriate.

  8. From Brian Switek in 2009:
    Simply ridiculous creationist nonsense

  9. What fool pays for a degree? Universal Life Church has ’em for free!

  10. Kent Hovind does seem rather boring these days. It was Ray Comfort that did the banana video, not Hovind. Hovind’s wife split and took the family business, the point of contention is that they begged him to fill the proper I.R.S. forms and in true Hovind style he remains obstinate.
    As for the spending $8,100 on a diploma mill sheep skin…my immediate thought is why not just get a decent laser printer ($200 or so) and print it off yourself? With such self pat-on-the-back-ery why stop at a doctorate? You could dub yourself the “Divine almighty and first citizen of the universe” (the verbosity lends itself to credibility). You can almost feel the power coursing through your veins as the printer spits out the certificate.

  11. I think Ray is the boring one, and Kent is of special interest, but “to each his own”.

    Hovind’s wife did not “split and take the family business”.

    The business was effectively “dead” and “worthless” and Eric salvaged it from the ashes. Kent can’t stand it and continues to accuse Eric of stealing it from him as if there was something of value and Kent wants his alleged millions in compensation.

    That’s my take on that.

    See also:

  12. Michael Fugate

    Interesting commentary on dinosaur proteins….

  13. SC – same experience on the MS coast after Katrina. Power came back within about 2 weeks, but cable was at least a month and a half, maybe longer. Cell towers were down everywhere also, so phone service was very spotty.

  14. I’ve been angry about Comcast all week, but the service came back a few hours ago, so I’m all calmed down now.

  15. @Robert Baty: Ray is certainly more boring than Hovind, I wasn’t advocating one being more interesting than the other, only that Ray Comfort is the one that is known for the banana video. I know your hobby is Kent Hovind and I’ve certainly enjoyed reading your take on things. To me what would make Hovind interesting: I’m not interested in hearing him debate anyone since his vapid talking points aren’t new and he is necessarily obtuse to any salient points that would refute his rather elaborate “Hovind theory”. What would interest me is if he runs into problems with his probation as well as success/failure/conflict with family about the family business.

    As for stealing the business, I think I can see merit in both sides. I don’t think any ministry is completely (financially) worthless, especially when you consider that Eric has been parroting his father’s exact talking points verbatim. Preachers/televangelists are notorious for getting into trouble and making a comeback (yes from nothing but their charisma, preaching style, and name recognition. Good example I refer you the Ted Haggard HBO documentary or Jim Baker and his prepper buckets of food). So Kent Hovind has a good point there, once he got out of jail he should be taking it over again. The family has an excellent reason to not allow this to happen. Mrs. Hovind spending a year in prison is a good start. Eric has been adequately performing his father’s duties and running the ministry in compliance with the law.

    (Just as an aside obviously I’m assessing the ministry as a cash cow and not for any other merit (there is none!). In addition you know a lot more about the Hovind case than I do, so it is certainly possible I’ve erred about details.)

  16. @ Troy

    Thanks for noticing my hobby.

    Like you, I don’t pay much attention to Kent’s scientific debates. I think they could be greatly improved but I don’t think he is willing to negotiate the appropriate details that would make for such improvement.

    I believe he has run into problems with his Supervised Release a number of times and we just don’t know what is going on with that. For example, the guns on his compound and the direct contact with Chris Jones the convicted felon (some kind of child abuse charge). Maybe Kent is just able to exploit the overworked and underpaid probation office. Maybe, however, they are playing Hovind for some bigger consequences.

    As for the business value, I would consider the assets as opposed to any alleged “intangible value”. The feds got all the real estate and what was left was, arguably, not worth fussing over. Eric raised a lot of money to buy back much of the property as he tried to salvage the actual business as an income producer.

    I figure Kent has no right, legal or moral or ethical, to anything Eric has. As you noted, Eric has effectively taken over supporting the family for the last 10 or so years when Kent abandoned them.

    I also agree that, like those other disgraced preachers, Kent might salvage an income stream, but I would prefer to see him simply shut up and disappear from the public square…………….kinda like Bert Thompson, Ph.D., of Apologetics Press, one of my earlier adversaries, seems to have done.

  17. @Robert Baty: I see your point. From Kent’s point of view it looks like his stuff (he had this problem before when he intimidated the person who bought one of his houses in a tax sale.), but what he’s actually seeing is what Eric has rebuilt. If he starts over it’ll have to be as a competitor to Eric’s. That’s gotta hurt, but that’s the bed he made for himself.

  18. Michael Fugate

    Comic piece on why Irma wasn’t God’s fault – because Adam and Eve, of course.

  19. @ Troy

    Speaking of Anthony Jaworski, here is his interview as presented by Peter J. Reilly and his documentarian Jonathan Schwartz:

    Otherwise, Kent is struggling to compete as far as the YEC market, in my opinion, though he seems to have done pretty good as far as funding his retirement. We’ll have wait and see if he can maintain that level of support.

    Some have opined that he’s living on money he secreted away and that the feds don’t know about.

  20. That poem claims that his god is the only one which suffered. (As is if that excuses everything.) ‘Taint true. Just read a bit of mythology.
    (I’m referring to the essay that @Michael Fugate cited.)

  21. @Robert Baty: I’d seen the Anthony Jaworski interview. It truly makes me despise the Hovinds. The video is more than 2 years old so it makes me wonder how it ended up for him. I don’t think the Hovinds should have been rewarded by intimidating him into moving, but that is a very likely outcome.

  22. I don’t pay much attention to Kent’s scientific debates. I think they could be greatly improved but I don’t think he is willing to negotiate the appropriate details that would make for such improvement.

    Is there an SC Understatement of the Year Award? I’d like to nominate Mr Robert Baty 😉

    Kent Hovind’s ‘scientific’ debates could be improved by, I don’t know, him learning basic science perhaps?

    On a side note, I find Hovind’s tax shenanigans only amusing as a demonstration of how someone so self-assured can overestimate their own capacities and eagerly wait for Ken Ham’s Ark to crash and burn in a similarly lolful fashion.

  23. Draken, the Ark Encounter isn’t going to crash and burn (right away anyway). While Hambo’s starry eyed prediction was for 2 million, they got closer to 1 million. While even a fun amusement park knows they have to add attractions to drive numbers, and as such the Ark will eventually end up with stagnant numbers… he still got 1 million people to visit. As P.T. Barnum put it, there is one born every minute.

  24. @ Troy

    I certainly know what you mean by what Jaworski went through.

    I recall reading something indicating that he has since died.

    I don’t what the latest ownership of that piece of property is.

  25. Michael Fugate

    And so much for “intelligent” design….
    Alternative evolutionary histories in the sequence space of an ancient protein
    Tyler N. Starr, Lora K. Picton & Joseph W. Thornton
    Nature 549, 409–413 (21 September 2017) doi:10.1038/nature23902

    Nature’s summary:
    “Whether history could have turned out otherwise is the core question in countless ‘what if’ stories, which remain vastly speculative because of experimental inaccessibility. By focusing on DNA-binding specificity in a well-characterized ancestral hormone receptor, Joe Thornton and colleagues have mapped the immense set of evolutionary paths that the protein could have taken. Through deep mutational scanning of half a million reconstructed variants, they find hundreds of alternative protein sequences that rely on a rich diversity of biophysical solutions to perform the derived function as well as, or better than, the historical evolutionary outcome. The results illustrate that the biological reality we live in is just the outcome from one of many rolls of the evolutionary dice, and that things probably turned out as they did for no particular reason.”